Property caretakers play a crucial role in preserving and maintaining buildings such as apartment blocks, hotels, office blocks, schools, and private residences. Depending on the size and type of property, they may be required to do general repairs, garden maintenance; keep common areas used by visitors and residents clean; monitor the overall security of the property, and manage other employees and contractors. Live-in property caretakers reside onsite to give them a more hands-on approach in order to perform their daily maintenance and handyman tasks and deal with any emergencies which may arise.
To take a closer look at what it entails to be a live-in property caretaker, we teamed up with experts from job aggregator Jooble to get valuable insights on what a live-in caretaker does and how to become one.
What do live-in property caretakers do?
Live-in property caretakers live on the property they look after rather than traveling to work every day so that they are immediately accessible. They may live onsite either in a private apartment, cottage, house, or a room that might be inside, close to, or attached to the main building.
Depending on the requirements of the client, a live-in property caretaker might take care of an apartment building, private residence, or a larger commercial structure. They are required to perform regular inspections of the property and carry out minor repairs such as installing smoke detector batteries and various other handyman tasks like fixing broken door locks, mending faulty plumbing, trimming trees, installing new windows and doors, or dealing with leaking roofs.
Additionally, as well as taking care of the property’s regular needs, they might also assist in resolving disputes with tenants, overseeing onsite construction work, as well as act as the property's agent when the owners are away.
Property caretakers report to either the property manager (in the case of large, commercial buildings) or directly to the owner of the property.
Duties and tasks of a live-in property caretaker
Here are some of the main tasks performed by live-in property caretakers:
- Doing repairs and general handyman work
- Maintaining boilers and furnaces to guarantee the supply of heat and hot water
- Overseeing cleaning and building maintenance personnel
- Overseeing tenants and guests
- Preventing property abuse
- Performing minor services for residents, such as taking deliveries on their behalf
- Notifying building owners and management in case of the need for major repairs
- Patrolling the property to monitor security and prevent break-ins
- Taking care of the grounds, including watering, weeding, trimming, and cutting grass
- Maintaining equipment
- Answering after-hours calls for emergencies
- Giving owners/property managers regular reports
- Conducting frequent inspections of the property
The difference between being a live-in caretaker and a house sitter
House-sitting is a more casual form of property caretaking and usually involves short-term employment. However, house-sitting can be turned into a full-time employment opportunity by building up a list of regular clients. House-sitting involves taking care of private homes or apartments while the owners are away on business or vacation. House sitters are frequently also required to care for the owner’s pets and may also be tasked with maintaining the actual building and its grounds. Numerous other tasks such as keeping the property clean, caring for indoor plants, maintaining the garden, cleaning the swimming pool, and removing snow and ice from sidewalks may also be part of the house sitter’s duties.
House sitters are often also employed by absent owners as a deterrent against crime. Leaving a house or apartment empty for a few days or weeks significantly raises the chance of a burglary, which is a concern for many homeowners. Additionally, there is always a chance that the property could sustain sudden storm damage or a plumbing malfunction that could cause flooding and serious damage to the property. Having a house sitter onsite 24/7 who is able to look after pets, discourage intruders, and deal with an unexpected emergency, can therefore be very reassuring to absent homeowners.On the job search site Jooble, you can find various opportunities for house sitting jobs of property caretaking, providing a unique employment option for those interested in caretaking roles.
Private individuals who hire live-in property caretakers
For many homeowners, maintaining a home can be labor-intensive and exhausting, especially if it’s a large property with sizable grounds that require a great deal of ongoing attention. A live-in property caretaker can therefore relieve the homeowner of the burden of maintaining the property. These professionals usually possess a wide range of practical skills that they employ to ensure the ongoing maintenance and smooth functioning of the house and its grounds.
A permanent live-in property caretaker can also be useful to senior citizens who want to keep their freedom and live comfortably at home but have large estates that require regular maintenance. Similarly, having a caretaker on call and close at hand to assist with a variety of duties can be beneficial for anyone who lives alone, has a disability, or is frail due to serious health issues. Families with active schedules and business professionals who travel frequently for work also often hire live-in property caretakers to maintain their private properties. Furthermore, some homeowners own multiple properties that require constant maintenance and security supervision while they are away. A live-in property caretaker will ensure that the property, grounds, landscaping, and other items are looked after in their absence.
How to become a live-in caretaker
Formal education is not required to work as a property caretaker, and some skills can be learned on the job. However, having practical experience will be useful and help you stand out from the competition. It may also be advantageous to have experience or certifications in building maintenance, general handyman work, basic plumbing, carpentry, and electrical repairs, as well as landscaping and gardening. Practical experience, dependability, and good character references are probably the most valued qualities employers look for in this industry.Search for open vacancies on the Jooble website to explore various opportunities for live-in property caretakers jobs, where your practical experience and valuable skills can contribute to a fulfilling career in property caretaking.
How much do live-in property caretakers earn?
In the US, live-in property caretakers earn an average salary of $41,000 annually, although salaries can range between $30,000 - $45,500, with top earners making $62,000. The wide range in salary indicates that there may be numerous prospects for a higher income based on experience level, location, skill level, and employer. Free accommodation may also be factored into the package.